Gabapentin versus pregabalin in relieving early post-surgical neuropathic pain in patients after lumbar disc herniation surgery: a prospective clinical trial.Neurol Res 2014; 36(12):1080-5NR
The roles of gabapentin and pregabalin are well established in the management of chronic neuropathic pain. Here, we investigated the effectiveness of pregabalin and gabapentin for treating acute neuropathic pain following lumbar discectomy.
This prospective, non-randomized, and observational study included 54 patients who experienced acute neuropathic pain after lumbar discectomy. The assessments included the Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs scale (LANSS), the Oswestry disability index (ODI), and the visual analog scale (VAS) pre-operatively and at 3 days, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery. The LANSS scores ≧12 suggest the presence of neuropathic pain. Those patients who reported neuropathic pain were randomly treated with gabapentin or pregabalin.
In the gabapentin group, the LANSS scores increased to 14 at 3 days after surgery. The patients improved neurologically and on the LANSS, which decreased to 10 points 6 months after surgery and to 4 points at 1 year (P < 0.001). In the pregabalin group, the LANSS scores increased from 12 to 16 points on post-operative day 3 and then decreased to 12 and 5 at the 6-month and 1-year follow-ups, respectively (both P < 0.001). The ODI and VAS scores significantly improved in both groups (P < 0.001).
Many patients may suffer from neuropathic pain in the early post-surgical period after lumbar discectomy. Gabapentin and pregabalin are anticonvulsant agents that may decrease perioperative central sensitization and early post-surgical neuropathic pain. Gabapentin and pregabalin effectively relieved neuropathic pain and prevented the conversion of acute pain to chronic pain at the 1-year follow-up after lumbar discectomy.